It’s official: WGN hires news anchor Joe Donlon

Joe Donlon

Joe Donlon, a leading news anchor in Portland, Oregon, for 21 years, has been hired for the top anchor job at “Chicago’s Very Own” WGN-Channel 9.

Confirming a report here Monday, the Tribune Broadcasting station announced today that Donlon would start in mid-April, succeeding Mark Suppelsa, who retired in December. He’ll join evening and late-news anchors Micah Materre, Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte.

Terms of Donlon’s deal, negotiated by attorney Todd Musburger, were not disclosed.


“Joe is the perfect person for the position,” WGN news director Jennifer Lyons said in a statement. “He is a heavy hitter when it comes to news. He is an incredible writer and I look forward to his stories as a working journalist in our news room. His knowledge, personality and quick wit will be an asset to WGN’s unique vision for storytelling in the Chicago news market.”

Since 1997 Donlon has been anchor at KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland. Before that the St. Louis native worked at KVOA, the NBC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona, and KZTV, the CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“The broadcast history in Chicago is unparalleled,” Donlon said in a statement. “I can’t tell you what it means to get this call from an iconic station I grew up watching, in one of the greatest cities in the world. I feel like I’ve been traded to the Bulls in the 1990s. It is literally a dream job for me.”

Like Suppelsa, Donlon is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee.